Something strange happened this week. I became a subtle fan of Childish Gambino. But I reaallllllyyy wanted to hate him. Why? I’m not sure. Is it because his name is courtesy of Wu-Tang’s name generator? Is it because he’s was a writer for 30 Rock before he was a rapper? I’m not sure my apprehension. Maybe I question his authenticity. But with rappers proving you don’t have to be directly of the streets to represent hip-hop (Chance the Rapper, Macklemore, J. Cole), it’s time to broaden my horizons. So I present to you, my love story.
Childish Gambino (real name Donald Glover, no relationship to Danny Glover) has been on a mini promo tour stopping at The Breakfast Club & Sway in the Morning in addition to dropping two new songs this week. He has a strong indie fan base that ensure he sells out shows in NYC every time he graces a stage. He’s released a number of mixtapes and albums himself then he signed a label deal. But I still wanted to hate him. Childish Gambino is as much a comic as he is a rapper. Dave Chappelle once proclaimed that all rappers want to be comedians and all comedians want to be a rapper. And Danny Glover is both. So I still wanted to hate him. Chance the Rapper included him on one of my favorite tracks from Acid Rap, “Favorite Song.” Then Childish Gambino appeared on Jhene Aiko‘s single “Bed Peace.” I still wanted to hate him.
Outside of my slight obsession with Jhene, I wasn’t the biggest fan of his inclusion on this song. So I still wasn’t feeling him. Then this week happened. Childish Gambino dropped “3005” and I was intrigued. He stopped by The Breakfast Club and provided a view into his personality. I developed a slight cyber crush. Then he dropped another track, “Worldstar” and performed a REAL freestyle to “Pound Cake” on Sway in the Morning. Listen to each of these below and decide if you still hate him.
He’s introspective and clever. Funny, yet not a joke. He knows how to capture your interest, but it’s not a gimmick. And it helps his “Pound Cake” freestyle was one of the best ones I’ve heard. There’s something about this guy that makes me want to hear more. I’m definitely going back to listen to his previous work. And his second studio album, Because the Internet, drops December 10, 2013. Kudos to you Childish Gambino, I don’t hate you anymore.
Brandy‘s sixth album, “Two Eleven” hit stores, iTunes, and Spotify today. Anchored by the success of her lead single, “Put it Down” featuring Chris Brown, fans have been eagerly anticipating her return to music. Ahead of the release, I listened to the full album and my full review and a download link are below.
Prior to pressing play on the full album, a number of tracks had already been circulating. It’s clear that Brandy is confident and happy after listening to the entire album. If you enjoyed Afrodisiac (her best album, to me), then you’ll likely find some delight in this project as well. You’ll find Brandy crooning about love and happiness, no Al Green. The album opens with the previously released track, “Wildest Dreams.” It finds her talking about finding the love that she’s been looking for. This standout track is set to be her next single.
The album continues with the same feel, heavy bass and stellar songwriting. Sean Garrett is to thank for that. This album feels fresh and new, yet familiar. Brandy toes outside of the box just enough to pique our interest. But this album is rooted in R&B more than a lot of her counterparts’ recent albums (except Elle Varner). Timbaland is noticeably missing, from a production standpoint. Bangladesh helms the majority of the album’s production. But it works. Brandy‘s raspy voice is on full display in the best way possible with tracks like “No Such Thing as Too Late” and “Without You.” After listening to the entire album, I actually think “Put it Down” is one of the weaker tracks on the project. I don’t mean that to say that song isn’t the jam, I love that song! But in the grand scheme of the album, she has better tracks.
My overall review of the album, it’s definitely solid! I rate this album a solid 3.5/5 stars.
Standout Tracks: Wildest Dreams, So Sick, Do You Know What You Have
Skippable Track: Without You
You can listen on Spotify for free or download HERE.
Brandy also stopped by my favorite morning radio show, The Breakfast Club, to promo her new album. Per the usual, the interview was entertaining. Check it below.
How long has it been since the last Missy Elliott album? 7 freaking years! After hearing her on “Nobody’s Perfect” from J. Cole‘s debut album, it was clear fans were wanting more. Welp, her and Timbaland partnered up again to release TWO new tracks much to the delight of her fans. Check them both out below.
The first, “9th Inning” find Missy and Timbo trying to resurrect music as it’s life is now in the proverbial 9th inning.
The second, titled “Triple Threat,” proclaims Missy as a triple threat. Check it.
How much did we miss them? I’ve always appreciated them for contributing something different than what’s hot at the moment.
Bonus: Missy and Timb have also been making their radio rounds discussing everything from the state of music to Drake‘s obsession with Aaliyah. Check out the interview below with my favorite morning radio show, The Breakfast Club.